Doug Klein

The Zionist’s Guide To The World Cup–Day 22

WARNING:  This blog will contain an obscure reference to the Napoleonic Wars as the 1812 Invasion of Russia/War & Peace theme is driven completely into the ground.  But first, let’s look at today’s quarterfinals….

It was yet another day of Zionist fear and loathing at World Cup as both of the higher-ranked ZGWC teams went down in flames.  Uruguay, absent Edinson Cavani, lost to France, 2-0, and well-regarded Brazil dropped their match against Belgium, 2-1.  With both South American teams bowing out of the competition, only European teams are left.  While we will be able to determine “favorites” for the remaining five games of the tournament, the fact that England is the top-rated side left does not speak highly for Zionist fortunes in this competition.

For their part, the Belgians looked good and should be more than a match for their neighbors to the south in next Tuesday’s semi-final.

Tomorrow’s quarterfinal matches feature England against Sweden and Russia against Croatia.

The Three Lions are quickly becoming the darlings of the civilized world now that they overcame their penalty kick curse.  The English enter the match with all of the momentum and confidence they could possibly muster.  They should be favored against a laconic Swedish side, which will probably lead to a 3-nil Swedish victory.

The last quarterfinal is the first all-Slavic contest in the World Cup since the 1998 knockout round match between Croatia and Romania.  That game featured five yellow cards, and the lone score was tallied by Croatia on a penalty kick.

Tomorrow’s bout between Russia and Croatia should be exactly that.  This match will likely be chippy from the opening whistle and should be reminiscent of the infamous 1956 Olympic water polo match between Hungary and the USSR.  Russia has historically aspired, through Pan-Slavism, to lead the Slavic world.  Croatia, largely Roman Catholic, has generally been on the opposite side of any Russian Pan-Slavic endeavors.  Most notably, the Croatians sent troops to fight on the German side on the Russian front during World War II.  There will be bad blood between these two sides, and perhaps there will be a red card or two handed out during the proceedings.

Like Russia’s game against Spain, Croatia is a far superior soccer team to the Russians.  The Russians will look to clog up the box and play defense.  They will play for the randomizer commonly referred to as the penalty kick phase to achieve their victory.  Similar to the game with Spain, the Russians will hearken back to their successful strategy against Napoleon’s Grande Armee in 1812.  Croatian troops were part of that invading army, as well.

A guten Shabbos.

About the Author
Doug Klein is an attorney in Chicago and the wrestling coach at Ida Crown Jewish Academy.
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